Filmmaker George Lucas, actresses Cicely Tyson and Rita Moreno, singer-songwriter Carole King and conductor Seiji Ozawa were heralded during a splashy holiday spectacle, one hosted by Stephen Colbert and filled with political, business and entertainment titans.
Colbert acknowledged the dignitaries and diplomats on hand as well as the “small handful of you not running for president right now.” Then he had a question for the crowd: “Can anyone get me tickets to ‘Hamilton?’”
The “Late Show” host may not have gotten those tickets to the red-hot Broadway musical, but new Kennedy Center Honors producers Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner tried to deliver some surprises. The list of stars paying tribute to the night’s honorees was practically a state secret.
Moreno moved from Puerto Rico to New York’s Spanish Harlem as a child, overcoming odds and stereotypes to join a rare group of entertainers by collecting an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy and a Tony for her diverse work. “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez, actress Rosie Perez, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tony winner Karen Olivo all paid tribute.
I’ve seen the video of Glenn Weiss directing the opening of the Tonys floating around so I figured I’d share my video of him directing “Shipping Up to Boston” performed by the Boston Pops and Dropkick Murphys at the Boston Pops Fourth Of July Fireworks Spectacular last year.
I was the truck PA on the show and it was by far the most amazing thing ever - the show started live, then went to the tape of the dress rehearsal due to weather, then came back to the host for a live hit, back to tape, and then it stopped raining and we came back live for the rest of the show. No one at home had any idea. Glenn (and his producing partner, Ricky Kirshner) is that good.